College Edition: Top 10 personal expenses

June 14, 2007 at 9:37 am 1 comment

In continuation with the College Edition, today’s top 10 includes the typical personal expenses made by college freshman. I know these lists seem somewhat premature, but knowing what to expect can help you prepare and start off on the right foot.

The Top 10 Personal Expenses
(from 10 Things You Gotta Know about Your First Year of College, Spark Publishing) Personal expenses include laundry, food, medical, and much more.

1. Laundry
It has to be done, whether you like it or not. And, doing your own laundry can save you some cash. Expect to pay around $25 a month.

2. Medical
Every time you go to the doctor, you’ll have to pay a fee (copay). If you take medication for things like allergies or the occasional cold, prescriptions can cost a pretty penny. Expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $500.

3. Clubs and organizations
If you’re just dying to get into that fraternity or sorority, or just a campus club, expect to pay dues and fees to join. The cost can be anywhere from $25 to $400.

4. Food
Having that campus meal plan can help curb some of the cost of food. But, that cafeteria food can get old after a while. Besides, you might want to join in on birthday dinners, roommate dinners, and food at the movie theater, concerts and sporting events. Expect to pay around $1000 a year.

5. Travel
Roadtrips, camping trips, floating trips, are all a part of college life. You might be making that occasional trip home to have mom help with the laundry. Plan on spending around $250 to $1000 a semester. Remember, you can also cut travel costs by hitching a ride with friends. But, be sure you to pitch on for gas.

6. Music
You’ll discover new music in college by way of new friends or roommates. Look at spending around $300 a year, but cut costs by borrowing from friends.

7. Duds
That stylish wool sweater your mom bought will become unwearable at a certain point. So plan on spending around $250 for new clothes every now and then.

8. Hygiene
If you want to date in college, you’re gonna need deoderant. But, watch the costs. These items can get pricey, especially if you like expensive brands. Look to spend, at a minimum, $500.

9. Transportation
If you have a car, you’re going to have to pay for gas, repairs and insurance. This can easily run up $2000a year. If you’re in a big city and expect to be using public transportation, look at spending roughly $600 a year.

10. Entertainment
You’ll probably want to hang out with friends and go to the movies, rent movies, go to concerts, go bowling, etc. You can easily spend up to $500 a year on entertainment. Look at cutting costs by participating in free campus events and using your student discount wherever possible.

You’re going to need anywhere from $3,500 to $6,475 alone to cover personal expenses. Next time, we’ll talk about the bank account and how it’s funded. Either with student loans, scholarships, grants or old-fashioned hard work.


Entry filed under: College Edition Series, College Planning, Money Fun.

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